We just spent twenty minutes playing with Andrew Benson’s brand new visual distorter/webcam feature Flow Cam. I made my own Marilyn Minter! You can too.
Animal’s Marina Galperina has talked to Benson about the effect which is not, in fact, datamoshing.
“It uses per-pixel motion analysis (optical flow) with a little conditioning as a control signal for image distortion,” Benson tells her. “Similar to how mpeg/divx works, but not based on that tech. It’s a kind of video feedback effect.”
And if you really want to melt your face off become one with the digital, make a GIF of yourself and then run that GIF through the gif melter. But be warned! It’s probably not good for those prone to seizures.
All of my YouTube searches lead back to art or puppies. Last night’s brief break from the fairs lead me to a rediscovery of Sparks, a group formed in Los Angeles by brothers Ron (a straight man often wearing a Hitler mustache on keyboards) and Russell Mael (the sexy lead singer). Even a brief look at their career leaves one with the impression that they’re a performance art group that accidentally got labeled a band. I’ve embedded their 1974 hit “This Town Ain’t Big Enough for Both of Us,” mostly because it’s my favorite song they’ve made, but it’s by no means their best video. For that I recommend the following quirk: “Lighten Up Morrissey,” an instruction set for Morrissey that features a group of dancing women in red wearing black-and-white Morrissey masks, “Dick Around,” a 2006 cat meme ahead of its time (it’s got only 17k views, presumably because it was made before people made careers out of their cats), and “Tryouts for the Human Race” a 1979 classic where we watch the band turn into werewolves. After watching those, the 1980 video “When I’m With You” where Ron turns his brother into a ventriloquist doll should read particularly well.
One final note on the subject of Canadiana: I suspect anyone who grew up in Canada during the eighties and nineties like me will immediately notice the influence Sparks had on Canadian rock star Gowan. Also of interest: Sparks is collaborating with Canadian filmmaker Guy Maddin to produce the film The Seduction of Igmar Bergman. That’s a piece I’ll seek out.